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Sacred Reborn: Daemon Chronicles

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Sacred Reborn is a new development by a Russian modding team called the Overlookers Clan.  Their site is here: https://vk.com/overlookers  (It's in Russian, use Google translate if necessary).

Why this mod is a big deal

As described in this post, mods for the first Sacred installment are very rare.  This is due to the inherent difficulty in modding the game files and a strong anti-modding stance by the developers when they still held the rights to the game.

Sacred Reborn is the most expansive mod ever made for Sacred 1.  Enemies, items, and combat arts are all rebalanced. Some bugs are also fixed and optimizations are made that improve performance.  This file is like a mod and patch all in one.  It breathes new life into this game.

This is the new loading screen for the game:

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Changelog Highlights

There are too many changes to list all at once, but here are some of my favorites changes with my comments.

  • Run multiple instances of Sacred 1 on your PC.  There's no shared stash in Sacred 1.  This meant if you found an awesome Dark Elf set item with your Gladiator, you may as well just sell it.  Now you can run the game twice, join a LAN game with both characters, and trade items between them. Wooo!
  • Temporary Buffs all have standardized (long) durations, between 1-3 minutes.  This was on my wishlist since forever!  It was soooo frustrating casting a buff only to get a few seconds of benefit.
  • Weak spells and combat arts are powered up, a select few of the OP ones are nerfed.  Player abilities were very imbalanced, meaning there were some "must have" CA's for power builds, and some that were never touched.  Now, almost any combination of combat arts and spells can be used to create a viable build, if enough care is taken.
  • Rune drops are regularized and more frequent as a result.  The vanilla game had this sadistic system where the more runes you read, the fewer runes dropped. This led to all kinds of neurotic player behavior such as only using gear and socketed runes to gain levels, confusing advice to newbies to "never read runes!" and even having dedicated characters just for rune hunting so as not to spoil your "real" characters.  This was thankfully done away with in Sacred 2, and now Sacred Reborn has a similar system where every 25th kill drops a rune.
  • Item rarity increased 5 times. This means that unique, set and rare items will drop 5 times more often.  Now it's actually viable for a single-player to sustain him/herself without relying on trading or cheats.

The full changelog is HERE.  There's so much more awesome content in this mod, but let's get to the Daemon stuff.

My Daemon: Syanna

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I am having so much fun making a Daemon with Sacred Reborn.  My first Daemon under vanilla Sacred Underworld was an abysmal failure. This was a hard pill to swallow after making very successful Battle Mage and Wood Elf characters.  I followed guides, but could not get the character off the ground.  Now she has a second chance, and I finally know: the Daemon is awesome!

As always I made my first training steps in Bronze, just to get back in the feel of things.  Bronze was quite easy for her, so at level 6 I felt confident in moving up to Silver.  Here she is freshly imported from Bronze into Silver:

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At first I just used Battle Daemon/Assail for the attack and physical damage boost, and Abysmal Choir for some ranged spell damage and the slowing effect.

The Daemon's special forms all have a bit of a flaw: the shapeshifting animation is a bit long and can't be sped up.  But now, it's not so bad, because the forms actually last for 2 minutes instead of 20 seconds.  Your Battle Daemon really feels ready for battle, your Fire Daemon really feels made of flames.

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And here's a great new perk for Soaring Daemon: it now has a very short regeneration time, because you "lose" the form whenever you cast its special attack "Descent."  Now you can resume Soaring Daemon shortly after using Descent.

I will post more about how Syanna is developing next time!

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The Sacred Reborn mod is also available here on DarkMatters:

 

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Hello Ben, I haven't had a chance to try out this patch as yet, as I have a Dryad Build I am trying to work on in Sacred 2 Gold, as well as other character builds for my PS 3 version of Sacred 2 and my XBOX 360. On my word of honour though I will try the patch asap. I have every confidence that it's Awesome.

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Brilliant Flix. .. I just saw now that you were running this Daemon hunter blog with a new toon...  Im enamored of what that mod team has done... all these changes make the game certainly more accessible as it was very much more of an arcade game than Sacred 2 with the very small (hugely challenging and heart breaking :cry:) short times o fthose buffs... Im a mad follower of where your daemon goes... very exciting! With that mod are you able to get a MP going with others, or does it only allow the lan play to transfer items> That's a huge boon!

:bounce:

 

gogo

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13 hours ago, gogoblender said:

With that mod are you able to get a MP going with others, or does it only allow the lan play to transfer items

I'm sure old school LAN parties would still work as well, if you've got your buddies physically with you to join your LAN.  For connecting with friends in foreign countries, something Tunngle or Hamachi should work, but I haven't tried those options yet.

 

Daemon Chronicles, part 2

Here are Syanna's first steps in Silver.  It's a notable difficulty increase from Bronze, where every mob was dying with one hit.  Here are her skills at level 6:

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By default a brand-new Daemon has already learned Weapon Lore and Magic Lore, which is fine, but I always alter my options.txt to allow me to freely choose my characters' starting skills.  So I started Syanna with Weapon Lore, because I know I want her to proficient with some kind of melee weapon, and Hellpower, because I'm going to be casting her spells for support, and I want to keep the regeneration times and casting speed low.

My next choices were Concentration, to keep the regeneration time of her special forms and combat arts low, and Constitution, because I remembered my old Daemon had a big problem with survivability.

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Here is Syanna rescuing the imprisoned Seraphim, her polar opposite. Nevertheless, the Seraphim is grateful.  I wonder if she calls everyone "Child of Darkness and Light" or just the Daemon?  I forgot that this "quest" is basically a secret and not actually in the logbook, though there is a hint in another quest, "Abducted" where a kidnapped novice mentions a rumor about a Seraphim. 

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Resistances are good and will continue to be good when I learn the Armor skill, with the exception of Poison!  The Daemon has very low Charisma, and no skills boost Poison armor, so I suspect she will struggle with resisting this element.  For now I am socketing amulets with Poison Resistance.

This is shortly after picking up Infernal Power and Soaring Daemon.  Infernal Power is a must-have buff that thankfully has a nice beefy 3 minute duration now.  I keep it up and running at all time.  I like to use Soaring Daemon for quickly traveling distances between quest targets and quest givers, for instance.  I can't remember which quests are timed, but I know there are many quests that you can fail if you take too long.

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I bought a cheap horse, but there's really not much point; in Sacred Reborn, the Soaring Daemon becomes faster than a horse!  She also can't use her special shifted combat arts from horseback.  So I haven't really been bothering with mounted combat or buying horse equipment. 

I love using Soaring Daemon to get from point A to point B so much quicker.  No fences, bushes, rivers, lakes, canyons, can stop her, even cliffsides can't bar her way when she's flying.  It's so liberating to zip around in the air.

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Here I am shortly after recruiting Wilbur in main campaign.  Companions in Sacred Reborn are much more robust and hearty, they should no longer fall dead all the time.  Another much-needed change.

I sure do love all the pre-rendered 2D landscapes and backgrounds.  It lends a really quaint a charming look to the game.  I still wish for a remastered version like the Infinity Engine games got that allows higher resolutions, but even the Overlookers Clan couldn't pull this off.  There are some failed screenshots on their site.

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Here's a mysterious hint about a strange village to the east.  I wonder if it's referring to the easter egg recreation of Tristram, the town from Diablo?  I could not tell if the language is a clue or just a made up phrase,

 

More on how Syanna is progressing next time!

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I have to say that this sounds and looks great Flix.  The lack of a shared stash in Sacred 1 made things really more difficult for me.  So I am really looking forward to trying this out.

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So going down a google rabbit hole reveals a fair bit about the phrase on that grave stone.

It looks like the quote is a Lord of the Rings reference. The phrase "et eärello endorenna utúlien" translates from Quenya (one of Tolkiens languages for the elves) into "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come" and is part of a phrase spoken by Elendil (father of Isildur who first "killed" Sauron) when he came to Middle Earth and repeated by Aragorn when crowned:

Since Middle-Earth is east of the great sea maybe it suggests that a village to the east is inspired by a town from the Lord of the Rings?

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1 hour ago, Dragon Brother said:

So going down a google rabbit hole reveals a fair bit about the phrase on that grave stone.

It looks like the quote is a Lord of the Rings reference. The phrase "et eärello endorenna utúlien" translates from Quenya (one of Tolkiens languages for the elves) into "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come" and is part of a phrase spoken by Elendil (father of Isildur who first "killed" Sauron) when he came to Middle Earth and repeated by Aragorn when crowned:

Since Middle-Earth is east of the great sea maybe it suggests that a village to the east is inspired by a town from the Lord of the Rings?

Haha what an awesome find.  I now think it's probably just a LotR easter egg, but I'll keep my eyes open for anything Tolkienish  to the east. This was around Faeries' Crossing, so like half the game map is to the east.

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17 hours ago, Flix said:

Haha what an awesome find.  I now think it's probably just a LotR easter egg, but I'll keep my eyes open for anything Tolkienish  to the east. This was around Faeries' Crossing, so like half the game map is to the east.

Keep us posted, it would be great if you found Rivendell somewhere or something, but I agree that this phrase is probably the extent of the reference. I love how much the Ascaron developers added to the games in tribute of other things in life that inspired / entertained them. I've never quite seen a game series do it quite to the same extent as they did.

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Daemon Chronicles, part 3

At this point I'm starting to settle into a groove.  I cast my shapeshifted form (either Battle or Fire, or Soaring if traveling fast), then Internal Power, then set out for battle.

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When I encounter a mob, I cast two more spells that I've added to my repertoire: Call of Death and Blazing Disk.  Call of Death increases damage dealt with each enemy killed.  Although it is nerfed from vanilla, it lasts 1 minute, and Syanna can rack up a huge damage boost in that time.  Blazing Disk (also with fixed 1 min. duration) is useful as sort of companion that seeks out enemies to hit with fire and physical damage.  The damage is greatly buffed in Sacred Reborn.

There is an obvious synergy between Infernal Power and all the Daemon's fire spells, including the Fire Daemon form.  So I will typically use Fire Daemon unless the enemies are particularly fire-resistant, in which case I opt for Battle Daemon instead, for the physical damage.  The secondary combat arts that each grants are pretty great, except for the slow animations.  The Battle Daemon uses Assail, which is a nice multi-hit attack, and the Fire Daemon gets Fire Wall, which sets the ground on fire.  It's a little slow and hard to target though.  Left click attacks are enough for most fights.

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At this point I've taken Sword Lore as my weapon skill.  I had considered Dual Wield but really disliked the run animation (a weird prancing tiptoe) and Ranged Weapons is not available to the Daemon.  Then I checked the Wiki, and saw that all the weapons in the Daemon's sets are swords.  So, swords it is.  I'm not planning on taking the shield skill Parrying, because I'd like the option to switch between using a 1h sword+ shield or a 2h sword.  So far it's worked well, because my attack speed is already maxed out, I just pick whichever sword gives me the best damage.

I have also learned the Magic Lore skill, which boosts all her spell damage.  Blazing Disk is now more than capable of finishing off basic trash mobs on its own, so it's a bit like having a companion creature.

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I ran across the Unknown Warrior in the western forests.  Chain quests in Sacred 1 are a rare and special thing, so I wanted to make sure I helped him to safety, since he'll be showing up again.

BUGFIX: Sacred Reborn fixes the crummy bug in which you could not complete The Unknown Warrior quest if you already completed "Riddles in the Desert."

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Advancing the main quest after rescuing the Baroness Vilya.  The main campaign quest companions are much stronger now, and very useful to have with you, since they're not falling dead constantly.  However, the basic escort quests are still a bit of a headache, since they can easily die, especially since mages in Sacred Reborn have more powerful spells that do more damage.  I've failed a few escort quests due to a Sakkara Priest or Goblin Shaman deciding to target my escort.  A single spell is enough to drop some of these fragile escorts.

Here's a great change in Sacred Reborn that has helped me a lot.  The Blacksmith forging arts are powered up and more useful.  The Defensive bonus has greater Defense % and an addition Physical Regeneration bonus.  The Offensive bonus has greater Attack % and additional Wounds Increase Damage Dealt.  And the magical bonus has significantly increased Mental Regeneration, over double the original values.

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Beautiful review... you really hit on all the pionts that I thought were annoyances when running this daemon when it was released.  I feel like we're exactly on the same page when you said you got into a "routine" of having to set up all her buffs to get the damage up... I remember doing this as well, ...but such a satisfaction when it all went off perfectly and and you can take out an entire army.  Happy that these buffs now seem to last for a more fair time... Yah... Sacred Underworld was a hard game... Its amazing seeing so much enjoyment being derived from the inception and execution of this mod for a game I'd alwaysthought was going to never be able to be modded well.

Good on that team, and Flix, thanks for this bright inspiring review

:)

 

gogo

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